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This year’s DC Beer Week is underway! The eight-day celebration kicked off yesterday, complete with the tapping of the first keg of this year’s “solidarity” brew, a wheat-heavy lemon saison named Red, White and Gluten developed and brewed by individuals from 20 local breweries. A slew of opportunities to take part in the festivities—from beer dinners to panel discussions—are listed on the DC Beer Week website. Below are our top picks for each day.
Hardywood Park Beer and Food Experience at Birch & Barley, 7 to 10 p.m.
Hardywood Park founders Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh are joining Birch & Barley chef Kyle Bailey and beer director Greg Engert for a dinner of five seasonally-inspired courses and six Hardywood Park beers. As a sample, one pairing is a scallop crudo with tomato water gelée, blue plum crème fraîche, pancetta and pistachio with Hardywood Simpleton Saison. Price per guest is $60 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made at (202) 567-2576.
Blood, Sweat and Beer Screening at Mad Fox Brewpub, 7 to 10 p.m.
Mad Fox Brewpub in Falls Church is hosting a free screening of the documentary, Blood, Sweat and Beer. The locally produced film focuses on the hardships of two start-up breweries, Brew Gentleman Beer Company in Braddock, Pa., and Backshore Brewing Company (formerly Shorebilly) in Ocean City, Md. Happy hour specials will be offered on Mad Fox brews from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.
Battle of Barrel-Aged Beer at Boundary Stone, 5 to 8 p.m.
Bloomingdale mainstay Boundary Stone will host this year’s competition, where attendees vote for the best wood-aged beers among those offered by five local breweries: DC Brau (last year’s winner), 3 Stars, Atlas Brew Works, Port City, and Hellbender. Tickets are $20 and include a four-ounce pour of each of the five entries.
If King George Had Won: English Beers at City Tap House, 11:30 a.m. to close
City Tap House will pour beers from the United Kingdom’s emerging craft brewing scene including some from Buxton, Siren, Fyne, Beavertown, and Wild Beer Company. A few aged beers like Harviestoun Old Engine Oil and a 2011 JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale will be offered as well. Beers are pay as you go, and full pours range from $8 to $12.
Devils Backbone and Bourbon 20/20 Pairing at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 5 to 9 p.m.
Beer and booze reign equally at this event featuring Devils Backbone brewmaster Jason Oliver and 20 of his beers alongside 20 bourbons. Also on hand will be a Jack Rose exclusive release, a barleywine aged for 13 months in the Adams Morgan bar’s very own Willett 12-year bourbon barrel. No reservations are necessary, and drinks are available a la carte.
Victory Radler Riot at Pizzeria Paradiso, 5 p.m. to close
Pizzeria Paradiso beer director Josh Fernands and Victory Brewing Company head brewer Adam Bartles are teaming up to showcase summer’s most refreshing drink: radlers. The German staple is made by mixing beer with fruit soda or juice. In addition to new radlers from Victory, the duo will be creating their own concoctions live at the Dupont location. All beers are pay as you go.
D.C. Total Tap Takeover at ChurchKey, 4 to 11 p.m.
For the first time ever, ChurchKey will devote all 50 drafts (and five casks) exclusively to D.C. breweries. The event will feature flagships, seasonals, and rarities from 3 Stars, Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket, DC Brau, Hellbender, and Right Proper Brewing Company, as well as the debut in bottle of Eau de Brau, a spirit distilled by D.C.’s New Columbia Distillers from a blend of DC Brau ales. All beers are available in tasting and full-size pours.
Wild Beer Meetup at Right Proper, 5 to 7 p.m.
Join Right Proper head brewer Nathan Zeender and American Sour Beer author and Modern Times Beer brewer Mike Tonsmeire for an informal meet-and-greet devoted to the topic of wild ales and the yeasts and bacteria that create them. Right Proper drafts and dishes are available a la carte.
St. Louis Beer Night at Brookland Pint, 5 to 8 p.m.
Brookland Pint is pouring over 20 beers from four St. Lous breweries: Schlafly, Perennial, Civil Life, and 4 Hands. The lineup includes Perennial’s revered Abraxas imperial stout and 4 Hands’ Cuvee Ange, a wine barrel-aged saison with mixed berries. Beers will be available starting 11 a.m. but representatives like Schlafly’s Mike Harbin will be on hand between 5 and 8 p.m.
Blind and Bitter at Scion Restaurant, 4 to 9 p.m.
In this blind tasting contest, participants sample from 25 unlabeled IPAs and double IPAs and vote for their favorite. Additional cask beers from winners from previous years will be on hand, as well as some featured bottles and cans. Tickets are not required. Competing beers will be available in four-ounce and full-size pours.
DC Beer Week Takeover at High Velocity, 4 to 10 p.m.
High Velocity, the bar in the Washington Marriott Marquis hotel at Mount Vernon Square, is pouring over two dozen beers from breweries near and far including Atlas Brew Works, Heavy Seas, Hardywood, Sam Adams, Schlafly, and 21st Amendment. Harder to find offerings include 21st Amendment’s Kilt by Wildfire, a Scotch Ale brewed with peppers, Sam Adams’ Three Weiss Men Weizenbock, and Hardywood’s Virginia Blackberry, a Belgian-style white ale brewed with fresh Virginia blackberries.
Here’s a Salute to Michigan at Black Squirrel, 5 p.m. to close
Some of Michigan’s best and rarest beers will be flowing at the Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan, including those from Founders, Bell’s, New Holland, and Jolly Pumpkin. Standouts include Bell’s Sparkleberry, a blend of the brewery’s Sparkling Ale and Raspberry Ale, and Founders’ BLiS Blast IPA, their All Day IPA aged in oak bourbon barrels that also held chocolate coffee imperial stout and hot sauce (!).
DC Beer Week Homebrew Demo at Meridian Pint, 3 to 6 p.m.
Curious about homebrewing and looking for an opportunity to learn? Members of the DC Homebrewers Club will be demonstrating how to brew beer on the Meridian Pint patio in Columbia Heights. Beer and food is available a la carte.
Bottle Shop and Tasting Room Grand Opening at Bluejacket, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bluejacket will open the renovated space adjacent to its Navy Yard brewery (formerly Buzz Bakery) for sampling from the new tasting room draft lines and browsing among over 20 bottled beers, including Whiskey Barrel-Aged Mexican Radio, a sweet stout brewed with lactose milk sugar, vanilla beans, cacao nibs, ancho chilies, and cinnamon, as well as the Jam, a berliner weisse with rhubarb and strawberries. There will also be ticket giveaways from Bluejacket’s upcoming Snallygaster beer festival.
Washington City Paper Local Brews Local Grooves at The Fillmore, beginning at 3 p.m.The Fillmore in Silver Spring, along with Washington City Paper, are presenting a beer and music festival showcasing four bands, three DJs, the Pigskins Cheerleaders and more than 50 beers from nearly 20 regional breweries. Ticket packages vary, starting with $12 for general admission, $15 for a sampling wristband which comes with five drink tickets, or a VIP package for $60 for two attendees that includes admission, five tickets each, a VIP bag, and most importantly, an additional hour of tasting.
Beer Scavenger Hunt in Dupont Circle, 12 to 5 p.m.
Teams of up to four will search for local beers and clues for the chance to win brewery tours and merchandise, but mainly bragging rights, for this year’s DC Beer Week scavenger hunt. Participating bars include Bier Baron Tavern, the Big Hunt, GBD, Glen’s Garden Market, Pizzeria Paradiso, and Scion Restaurant. Registration is free but beers are pay as you go.
Flying Dog BeerBQ at Hank’s Oyster Bar, 12 to 9 p.m.
Hank’s on Capitol Hill is featuring 10 Flying Dog beers for an all-you-can-drink barbecue feast. The menu includes fried chicken, baby back ribs, and oysters several ways, as well as housemade Flying Dog adult ice pops. Seatings are 12 to 4 p.m. or 5 to 9 p.m. and tickets are $65.
Image courtesy of DC Beer Week